Bandits taking season 10 games at a time

November 10, 1995|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

After winning just one of their first 10 games, the Baltimore Bandits may need a month of Tuesdays to arrive at a won-lost record they can crow about. But the team is trying to move with deliberate speed.

"None of us are happy with our 2-10-1 record so far," said coach Walt Kyle before the Bandits' game in Providence, R.I., tonight. "The important thing is to start winning 10-game segments."

The Bandits are 1-2 since their awful start, and Kyle said he'd be satisfied with a 5-5 split at the end of the month. "Then we could go for 6-4.

"From day one, we knew we'd have problems as a start-up team. But the [Anaheim] organization figured, 'Let's let it go for a while and see what we've got, then we can get to work on improving.' "

It hasn't shown yet, but the organization (Anaheim's assistant general manager and Bandits general manager Pierre Gauthier) has been making moves aplenty. For instance, newly acquired forward Dwayne Norris will be in the lineup when the club faces off against the Bruins at the Providence Civic Center.

Norris was an all-star in the AHL last year, scoring 30 goals and getting 43 assists in 60 games for Cornwall of the AHL. The Mighty Ducks signed him when his hefty contract become too much for the Los Angeles franchise in the IHL to bear.

To make room and to close up the vacancy on the L.A. Ice Dogs' roster, the Ducks (and Bandits) dispatched John Lilley west.

Said Kyle: "Norris is the first bona fide goal scorer we've had. Anaheim wants its players playing as much as possible, and Norris coming here would have meant somebody else had to sit down."

These moves were going on while Alex Hicks was being called up to the Mighty Ducks on Wednesday (because of an injury to wing Todd Ewen) and Gauthier was at work getting some veteran defensemen in to shore up the backline.

Doug Crossman was coaxed out of retirement and, after a week of practice following Baltimore's last game, is ready to start taking regular shifts. Another acquisition, Bobby Marshall, is ready to go, too.

"Put those three guys out on the ice and we're a much better team," Kyle said.

The way the Bandits have been wearing down late in games -- they haven't outscored the opposition in the third period yet -- it's been obvious their conditioning wasn't the best.

The coach said it's been a solid week of practice during which conditioning and techniques were worked on, so progress should be evident.

"It better be," he said, "because we haven't won a game on the road yet [0-7-1]. That's embarrassing."

Beginning Wednesday when Southern Division foe Carolina comes to town, the Bandits will be home for four games and six of the next seven before the end of the month.

All things considered, things seem to be looking up for the Bandits, who have nowhere to go but up.

Bandits tonight

Opponent: Providence Bruins

Time: 7:05

Site: Providence (R.I.) Civic Center

Radio: WITH (1230 AM), WAMD (980 AM).

Outlook: The Bandits have been off for a week, using it for much-needed practice, and have improved their offense with the signing of Dwayne Norris, an AHL all-star last season. Providence came from behind to beat the Bandits, 4-3, three weeks ago, but is 1-5 since.

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